5% of Each Purchase Goes to Support The Tavern


Sunday, January 10, 2016

New "White Box" RPG - Skyscrapers & Sorcery

Swords & Wizardry White Box is all the rage these days. It's simply an excellent set of OSR rules one can easily (well, maybe "easily" is a matter of perspective) twist, turn, grind up and mash into something totally different and yet strangely comfortable and familiar.

What do I mean? White Box begat White Star and White Lies and now - Skyscrapers & Sorcery. Alright, they left out the "White" part in the title, but I'll forgive them that.

So, what is Skyscrapers & Sorcery?
What if the world ended and no one really noticed? 
What if almost everyone just picked themselves up the next day, dusted themselves off and went back to their routines as if nothing major had happened? 
That is what happened here. Sometime in the late part of the 19th century, something exploded in several places around the world at the same time. 
Scientists say they think it was a number of comets or some other sort of space body hitting the planet. Some people claim that we were being attacked by Martians. Some folks just didn’t really notice. The explosions caused lots of death and destruction and affected every continent in the world. 
Strange things live in the shadows of the world. Other worlds seem to have intruded upon ours and you are one of the few who decided to take notice and take action. Folks have names for people like you, the most polite of which is Adventurer. There is something that makes you want to notice the world and what goes on outside the daily humdrum lives of everyone else, and you have an itch to explore the dark corners and possibly even right some wrongs. 
It’s been several decades since the Event and you have decided that it is time to scratch the itch of Adventure. Welcome to Skyscrapers & Sorcery, may your adventures be many and fruitful and may your lives be valiant and your death be bravely faced.
An Old School, White Box compatible game system.
The character classes are familiar yet different from the White Box you know and love (but casters are still there.) I suspect from my quick skim, this might work work well as a heroic Cthulhu campaign ruleset. I'll know more when I finish reading. My problem with the various White Boxed derived rulesets is that I tend to assume I know all of the basic rules, and I'm occasionally tossed a curve. Something else to load onto my table for downtime reading at work.

BTW, I know of yet another White Box derived ruleset in the works. I have an early version on my tablet. It's a good year to be a White Box fan ;)


  1. Going to ask the dumb question: what genre is it, exactly? An alt-reality detective magic noir punk setting? Post-apoc noir with magic? Hidden world magic with normal reality cloaking the weird? I can't tell from the previews.

    Thanks for reminding me about White Lies, just ordered my print copy.

  2. Hi, this is the Anthony, the author. Yes to all of the above. I've given just a basic two page intro (the initial 'blurb' and the what is the time period of the game page. I purposely left the setting and genre a little vague to allow referee's to take the parts they like and twist it around to suit them.

    My home take on it is as a Alt-Reality setting, where the creepy things and places from movies are really out there, but the average person does not realize or choose to realize it. They are not necessarily cloaked by anything but the average person's refusal to 'accept' that there is anything wrong with the world. Perhaps a Sharknado did hit a town recently, or nazi zombies have risen from a swamp where they have lain since a failed invasion near the end of world war two. The time period is also ambiguous, kind of like the time period on the TV show Gotham.

    Hope that answers your questions Mr. Bergquist.

    And Mr. Tenkar, thanks for the mention.

  3. Skyscrapers & Sorcery sounds awesome! Just my cup of tea. BTW Erik, do want a preview of another White Box gamin coming up this year. Just let me know.

  4. Judging by the cover (as I do) I think it's for simulating Larry Cohen's films ... "Q" for sure, maybe "God told me to," and so on. That's what I'd do with it anyway.

    1. Not familiar with those films, I'll have to check them out.

    2. I googled Larry Cohen, turns out I have seen a few of his films and from the description, Q would be a dead on fit for a Skyscrapers & Sorcery game, I'll have to see that one as soon as possible.

  5. I'll load up a draft on my google drive and share it with you later today. :)

  6. This looks really cool! Seems like a game could have echoes of Cthulhu, X-Files, Buffy, Hellboy, and Urban Arcana. I like where this is going!

  7. Bought it, paged through it, like it a lot. I think I might bend mine in a slightly different direction, but this game is infinitely bendable, just like its ancestors.